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Why Women Shouldn't Marry: Being Single by Choice Paperback – April 2, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books (April 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569803447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569803448
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,597,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Corinne H. Smith VINE VOICE on July 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
It can be a frustrating experience to be "a woman alone" in our society today. "Only one?" a restaurant hostess will still ask with a raised eyebrow. Even devoted family and friends may put pressure on us, as they see other members of our generation pair up and ride off into the sunset. Why don't we join the crowd? they wonder. It never occurs to most folks that we've made our lifestyle choices consciously and deliberately.

"Why Women Shouldn't Marry" was first released in 1988. This second edition, updated 20 years later, was co-written by the mother-daughter team of Cynthia S. Smith and Hillary B. Smith. Cynthia is a widow; Hillary is a divorced single mom who's raising a son. Certainly both women are thus familiar with singlehood and have opinions and relevant experiences to share on the topic. They are passionate storytellers. They offer real-life examples from myriad women who represent various single situations. They advise female readers, both directly and by implication, to resist the inclination to get married simply because it seems to be the behavior expected of them. The Smiths provide plenty of food for thought for women to chew on.

And yet: there's an undercurrent in their approach that made me uncomfortable as I turned the pages. I felt an ultra-defensive attitude, one that was ready to rise to a challenge at any instant. The stereotype of the bitter, man-hating divorcee is tough enough to live down in person. A book like this may appear to (albeit unwittingly) perpetuate that image. And that's not at all a flattering impression of the single woman.

If Cynthia herself harbors personal resentment, she has good reason.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
At first I didn't respond positively to this book. I kept comparing it to my favorite book on being single (Singled Out by Bella DePaolo.)

The book is set up as a series of anecdotes and stories. There's no reference to research. It's like joining the authors for Girls' Night Out, when everybody opens up after a couple of drinks.

The Smiths present all the negatives of marriage, using one extreme example after another. Some women sacrificed their careers because they felt they ought to be married.

Some stories were scary. For instance, a widow married a man whose daughters saw her as a gold-digging threat. She tolerated insults and humiliations rather than get a divorce and live alone.

Single women, the authors say, avoid these messy situations. They don't have to answer to anyone. They create their own economic freedom. They enjoy their own company. Dining alone? No problem.

OK, this is pretty strong stuff. It's easy to make counter-arguments.

Clearly some marriages bring happiness to both partners. Doctors usually are arrogant, as the authors say, but I've known some happy doctors' wives..

And being single isn't exactly a cake walk. DePaolo's book, Singled Out, provides some vivid examples. Service providers from restaurant staff to doctors view single people (especially women) as second class citizens.

One doctor's receptionist addresses all women as "Mrs.," whether married or single. She refuses to change claiming she'll upset the married women if she uses the correct form of "Ms."

Socially, married family and friends talk down to single people. Some singles even get relegated to the kids' table at holiday meals.
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Format: Paperback
Marriage and having lots of children is the American Dream, right? "Why Women Shouldn't Marry: Being Single by Choice" is a look at today's modern woman - and how the standard of marriage is no longer a requirement for happiness and at times should be avoided. Marriage occasionally is an act of desperation and fear undertaken by women who, lacking self-confidence in themselves, want the supposed security that a man seemingly provides. A deftly written examination of the institution of marriage, "Why Women Shouldn't Marry: Being Single by Choice" is a top pick for community library women's studies collections and for any woman having self-doubt about her future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. J Wiener on July 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
A very fair minded approach by the authors indeed. In today's world women hold nearly as many key business roles as men. Why should they comprimise their own lifestyles for a man who wants to be waited on hand and foot? The authors really did their homework on this subject as they interviewed many single, widowed, and divorced ladies. In many cases they show that women should not sacrifice their lifestyles if a persepctive male partner is only thinking of himself.

The part these ladies don' tell you as that many men in the 40 plus category are not available usually as they are involved with younger women. To some degree the pickings for these ladies can be a bit slim. However, unattached ladies who have pride in themeselves will win out in the end when they marry or not.

Some very good messages and analysis exists in the many stories. Certainly worth additional re-reads as even men like myself can learn a few things.
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